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AARP Texas statement in response to the issuance by Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar of a Texas Broadband Plan.
AARP Texas is working to bridge the digital divide. Those without access to high-speed internet tend to be older adults living in rural areas, regions that also lack access to health care.
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The public can provide input as Texas develops a broadband development plan and expands high-speed internet access, which is crucial for many older Texans.
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This year major wireless carriers will shut down their third generation (3G) networks, making older cell phones and devices, including home security and medical alert systems, useless. This will impact many older adults in Texas and millions across the country who use mobile phones from 2012 or earlier.
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Texans are able to stay connected with the Affordable Connectivity Program that works to give residents fast, affordable high speed internet.
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AARP supports the Texas Legislature appropriating $2 billion in ARPA funds to allocate accordingly to address all aspects of the digital divide.
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Internet connectivity can improve the problem of social isolation during the pandemic, and a new broadband benefit program can help by providing up to $50 monthly discounts for consumers who qualify, a representative from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said at an AARP teletown hall Aug. 31.
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A new federal initiative can save eligible households up to $50 on high-speed internet bills.
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AARP Texas is working with city leaders and state lawmakers to expand access to high-speed internet service. 
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